Marketing can be a weird thing. Focus groups, key words, and target demographs are the typical forces that drive the decisions forward to making as big of a splash as possible. Our world today is ruled by social media: we want more stimulation faster, and if appropriate, in as an abbreviated format as possible. Because of this, platforms like Twitter thrive – the hyperfocus of a Tweet can capture attention with ease.
It’s no surprise then that Twitter is an important social media tool in the film industry. It is used to unify the online community with an official focal point, which can then be shared and networked beyond through hundreds of thousands of followers. As such, keeping a growing brand like Jurassic Park and World – which has numerous unofficial fan sites and social media accounts – unified for marketing synergy only makes sense. While Jurassic World did change its name, effecting marketing and branding, it is still the fourth film in Jurassic Park series.
Up until today, the social media accounts reflected that: on Twitter the account handle was @JurassicPark but the ‘account name’ and imagery was for Jurassic World. It reflected that the franchise was one, and helped bring fans of classic to the new, and fans of the new to the classic. However, now Universal Pictures has made the inexplicable decision to split the handles to @JurassicPark and @JurassicWorld, splintering their following.
Ultimately, this move unnecessarily confuses and dilutes the brand by splitting its potential followers in two. What happens if those following @JurassicPark still want news for the next film, but don’t realize the other account exists? Or perhaps an inverse scenario, where fans of the newest film would be interested in news about happenings revolving around the classic trilogy – however, they aren’t following the other account as its existence isn’t necessitated by common sense nor current marketing trends. And if they both share the same news, why split the accounts in the first place?
Jurassic World was the 4th highest grossing film of all time in the box office, making over $1.6 billion dollars worldwide. However, it only has 178,000 followers on Twitter – as opposed to Star Wars with 2.3million followers and Marvel with over 4 million. The Jurassic brands online presence does not nearly match its box office strength or recognition, and splitting the accounts will not help with its true potential in growth. Of course, to grow the social media accounts would require activity which also felt organic and genuine in tone; unmanufactured. As it stands now, they are neither.
It can be frustrating to be a fan of the Jurassic franchise. While as fans we are not owed anything (an inflated sense of entitlement can often lead to unwarranted toxicity between the studio and fandom), it’s easy to see the potential the brand has to excel, yet there is a palpable lack of enthusiasm – or perhaps confidence – from the studio to hit those marks. Some of the most frequent non-toy and non-videogame questions we receive from other fans are ‘Will there be a Jurassic World artbook?’, ‘Where are the Jurassic Park and World comics’ and ‘Will there be new movie canon tie-in novels?’. The opportunity to expand the fiction (and brand strength by association) into new territory is ripe, and utilizing the momentum Jurassic World presented is essential. Yet it’s radio silence, and minimal visible output abroad.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Yes, the rant is over for the time being – lets talk the future, and what we can infer from the splitting of the accounts. First and foremost, ‘Jurassic Park’ is not dead. By giving @JurassicPark its own social media account it’s clear the classic trilogy will continue to see new merch and media going into the future – alongside the current Jurassic World film merch and media. With a slick new logo similiar to the current DVD offerings, which is quite different from the nostalgic original, it’s clear they’re utilizing brand imagery that is meant to operate with today’s trends.
As for Jurassic World: those who didn’t believe the title and branding were here to stay should reconsider. When the accounts split, one had to start anew while another would keep the existing followers. The handle @JurassicWorld was given the existing 178k followers, meaning it will be the brand and marketing powerhouse moving forward, @JurassicPark the niche. So yes, while we do not yet know the name of the fifth Jurassic movie, it will certainly include ‘Jurassic World’ as opposed to ‘Park’ or something entirely new.
Ultimately, it’s exciting to know that as we get closer to the release of the Jurassic World sequel, classic Jurassic Park will remain relevant. We’ve heard buzz that a toy line inspired by the classic Jurassic films could be targeting 2017 alongside ‘Raptor Squad’, and this seems to give it further legitimacy. While the splitting of the brands seems to be a convoluted misstep, it’s nice to see the Jurassic Park logo on social media once again.
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